About the Embedded Labs
- Administrative data mapping and strengthening
- Developing a policy-oriented research agenda and facilitating the development of research projects in line with the agenda
- Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) plans for key programs
- Evidence sharing and supporting partners to use evidence to inform public policy
- Evaluations using administrative data (sometimes supplemented by independent data collection)
- Strengthening the link between the generation and use of evidence
- Technical assistance for scaling up effective programs
- Institutionalizing the sharing and application of evidence to inform decisions in government agencies
- Building skills and systems to create and use rigorous evidence
- Directly supporting the scale-up of evidence-informed policies and programs, including through effective monitoring at scale
Embedded labs tackle three major challenges to the regular, institutionalized use of evidence in policymaking:
(1) A lack of accessible, contextually grounded evidence to support decisions. Government officials face many demands on their time, and typically are not able to identify, review, and analyze multiple studies to extract insights relevant to their contexts. Without this, the application of even well-documented evidence is challenging in the real world.
(2) Inadequate data and analysis systems. Existing government data could be used to answer policy questions, but this information is often siloed, outdated, or incomplete. As a result, existing resources are often underutilized. With targeted investments, governments can improve existing data—fostering a culture of evidence use.
(3) Unreached potential to develop, adapt and improve programs based on evidence. IPA’s partners are interested in implementing and scaling proven interventions, but adapting interventions to different contexts requires support from experts, ongoing monitoring, and, sometimes, further evaluation. IPA’s labs provide a platform for this support.
Each lab works on a variety of activities to equip IPA’s partners to regularly use evidence to improve their decision-making, policies, and programs. These include:
Embedded lab teams develop a “learning cycle” for their host ministry that develops into a routine, supporting institutionalization. A typical cycle features problem identification, incorporating existing evidence, designing solutions, piloting, evaluating, analyzing, and then sharing and acting on results.
Embedded Evidence Labs support IPA's strategic pillar of creating a culture of evidence-based decision-making. Labs enable policy impact by:
To learn more about Embedded Evidence Labs, keep reading for current examples or reach out to us for more information.